Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reader's review - Charles Cumming (The Trinity Six)

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I do not like books without action and excitement. When I read a book, I expect to experience something that leads me into another world or unknown dimension, to experience something that is not going to happen in my own life. That's the way it is. Some will say that I am negative and I do not give new writers a fair chance, but that is not true. But I feel the same way about books that a gourmet must feel about food. If the story I am presented to don't live up to my expectations, I am disappointed and annoyed and I get the terrible feeling that I have wasted precious time. Conversely, I am also easy to excite ...

And right now I'm thrilled. Charles Cumming's 'The Trinity Six' is brilliant. Briefly, the book is about the author Sam Gaddis who accidentally trips over some old documents, referring to an old spy ring from Cambridge. But although the information is old, they are certainly not outdated. And without being aware of it, Sam Gaddis have both hands deep into a nest of angry wasps. And as he digs deeper into his research of the ancient spy ring, and without being aware of it, he endangers his own and others' lives... and soon people around him starts to die ...

Charles Cumming knows what he writes about. He has worked for the SIS (Special Intelligence Service) for a few years before he began as an author. And maybe it was just the authenticity of the book, that was about to knock me out. This book really brought my patience to the absolute limit, and if it was not because I had a principle about never quit a book before it is read, I would probably have given up halfway.

But patience is rewarded. One should certainly halfway through the book before the action starts and the story gets interesting. The first part describes mostly conversations between Sam Geddis and various stakeholders and these dialogues are deadly boring. There are high demands on the reader. Not only do you have to keep track of a quite bulky cast of characters, but you have to check for aliases, of which the same person may have several. In my view, this part is really boring. But suddenly the situation changes and things start to take off and it is here the patient reader will be rewarded.

'The Trinity Six' is nothing less than a stroke of genius. The plot is coherent and - in time - really exciting. And the ending... the ending concludes the story without tension seep out. Too often I find endings to be an anticlimax. The bag is empty. There is nothing left. That is really unsatisfying. But that is not going to happen in 'The Trinity Six'. The voltage remains to the last page. To the last sentence. To the last word.

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